Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is refusing to release a plan showing how he’d pay for Medicare for All. The elderly candidate who recently suffered a heart attack, responded to criticism by saying, “I don’t think I have to do that right now.”
Medicare for All is projected to cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. Included with the Green New Deal’s $92 trillion cost, economists warn that the government would need to take 100% of income generated by the American public and most small business.
Other candidates in the Democrat primary have doubled down in their criticism of both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for not being able explain how they’ll pay for the multi-trillion dollar plan for a government takeover of the health sector. Even mainstream Democrats are dubious of the ability for the nation to pay for such a plan.
Warren has has very awkwardly and repeatedly refused to say she would increases taxes for the middle class; Sanders admits a tax increase but has never provided a plan detailing how Medicare for All would be funded.
Sanders was asked how he’d fund the plan during an interview published on Oct. 29.
“We’re trying to pay for the damn thing. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is my view that the wealthiest people in this country, the top 1/10th of 1 percent should be paying substantially more than they’re paying right now. You have an insane situation. Let my Wall Street friends there tell me why it makes sense,” Sanders told CNBC.
Sanders suggested a wealth tax could contribute substantially to funding Medicare for All but was pressed for more specifics.
“The fight right now is to get the American people to understand that we’re spending twice as much per capita, that of course we can pay for it. We’re paying it now in a very reactionary, regressive way. I want to pay for it in a progressive way,” the self-described socialist responded.
“You’re asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American—how much you’re going to pay more in taxes, how much I’m going to pay. I don’t think I have to do that right now,” he added.
Sanders claimed, “At the end of the day, we will pay for every nickel of Medicare for All, and it will save the overwhelming majority of the American people, who will no longer pay premiums.”
Sanders’s statements came about a week after Warren said she’d be releasing a plan detailing how much Medicare for All would cost and how she’d pay for it if she were elected president.
“We need to talk about the cost and I plan, over the next few weeks, to put out a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for All, and, specifically, how we pay for it,” she said on the campaign trail in Iowa.
“Right now, the cost estimates on Medicare for All vary by trillions and trillions of dollars. And the different revenue streams for how to fund it—there are a lot of them. So this is something I’ve been working on for months and months and it’s got just a little more work until it’s finished.”